Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman, two lawyers and Black Lives Matter protesters who hit the streets of Brooklyn following the death of George Floyd, face up to life in prison for allegedly setting a police vehicle ablaze via Molotov cocktail.
As noted last month by National Review contributor Jonathan S. Tobin, the duo, who’ve ginned up loads of sympathy in the mainstream and leftist media, face “seven federal charges, including arson, conspiracy, and the commission of a ‘crime of violence’ employing what the law defines as a ‘destructive device.’”
The charge concerning a “destructive device,” Tobin explained, “means that if they are convicted they will have to automatically serve a sentence that is three times longer than if they had used a gun: a mandatory minimum term of 30 years. With the other charges thrown in, each is looking at the possibility of ‘non-negotiable’ sentences of 45 years to life in prison.”
On Wednesday, in a lengthy sympathetic piece, The Daily Beast lamented the charges against Mattis and Rahman, framing it as a crackdown from the Trump administration on “Black Lives Matter protesters,” deliberately blurring the lines between the folks who peacefully protest and those who engage in destruction, like Mattis and Rahman are accused of doing.
As highlighted by The Daily Beast, “Because the incident involved an explosive device, a specialized unit of NYPD officers and FBI agents, called the Joint Terrorism Task Force — formed in 1980 to root out threats to national security — spearheaded the investigation. Within hours of the arrest, before Brooklyn prosecutors had even begun writing up charges, FBI agent Kyle Johnson submitted a criminal complaint in federal court, and federal prosecutors informed local authorities that the US attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York was taking over the case.”
“No one knew it at the time, but this was one of the early moves in a widening federal crackdown against Black Lives Matter protesters across the country,” posited the outlet.
As further outlined by Tobin, Mattis and Rahman “were caught on camera throwing a Molotov cocktail into an empty, already-vandalized NYPD patrol car in Brooklyn” back in May during a violent demonstration surrounding the death of George Floyd. “After setting the vehicle on fire in full of view of the cops, they drove away in Mattis’s van and were quickly chased down and arrested. In their possession, officers found yet another Bud Light bottle turned into a homemade incendiary device and the makings of more in the back seat. Prosecutors later said Rahman had offered Molotov cocktails to other protesters, as well.”
“There could hardly be any doubt about their guilt,” Tobin said. “In addition to the police video of the firebombing itself, a photographer actually snapped a picture of Rahman, a 31-year-old attorney for Bronx Legal Services, leaning out of the window of the car holding an unlit Molotov cocktail.”
And just before the incident, Rahman gave a filmed interview raging over the Floyd death. “This sh** won’t ever stop unless we f***ing take it all down. We’re all in so much pain from how f***ed up this country is toward black lives,” Rahman said. “This has got to stop, and the only way they hear us is through violence, through the means that they use. ‘You got to use the master’s tools.’ That’s what my friend always says.”
Author: Amanda Prestigiacomo